Title: Better Call Saul “Nailed”
Airdate: April 11th, 2016
Genre: Crime, Drama, Comedy
It’s official, Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim (Rhea Seehorn) are one of the best couples currently on television. I mean not only is it clear Kim knows Jimmy was lying about doctoring the files, but she even offers advice to him near the end of the show! If this isn’t true love, I don’t know what is. Damn, that was a crazy episode. Looking back on, this week’s episode of Better Call Saul perfectly encapsulated who each of these characters are and what they truly represent. Though the show is still plagued by some familiar problems, “Nailed” was another great episode in a show that refuses to waiver in quality.
We will get back to the awesomeness that is Kim, and Jimmy, but I think it’s time we had a conversation about Chuck (Michael McKean.) There have been moments with this character that I wasn’t exactly sure what Better Call Saul was going to do with him. He always seemed to just be the opposite of Jimmy in every way and that was all he brought to the table. We rarely got to dive into the mind of the man unless it directly involved Jimmy or his choices. This week was an outstanding set of moments for the character, as I am currently questioning the psychosis of this character. Seeing him absolutely break down during the courtroom showed both how arrogant and fragile his mental state is. Side note, though, I am happy that the show took a bit time to explain why Jimmy moving the numbers around for the address was such a big deal, as I honestly wasn’t sure how big of an impact that would make. Chuck’s interactions with the clients at Mesa Verde only helped showcase the sheer confidence and ego Chuck has. I mean, who else is going to tell the person they’re representing that they don’t know where their building is located?
This was backed up even more by the fantastic editing that gave a frantic mentality to his entire breakdown. It was unnerving in all the best ways as I had no grasp on what Chuck was exactly going to do. Though the crowning moment of this week, is far and away the sheer venom he spat at Jimmy for changing around the paperwork. Yes, it is a bit of a stretch that Chuck would instantly figure out that Jimmy is the one who altered the work, but it wasn’t that glaring of an issue. Perhaps I would have had more of a problem with it if Kim didn’t call out Chuck on the complete lack of evidence he had of Jimmy’s handy work. Kim’s defense though was great, despite the fact she clearly knew that Jimmy had done something. The entire scene was tense, despite the lack of any actual physical harm befalling any of the characters. McKean’s performance this week really sold the frustration and pure rage that Chuck has for Jimmy and is his best work to date with the show.
Of course, this all culminated in our return to the copy store, where Chuck finally had a full on meltdown that caused him to pass out. I have to admit the copy store worker was way funnier than I expected him to be and almost makes me want him to be a small returning character. Speaking of humor, Jimmy’s commercial endeavors are still as amusing as ever. It did a great job showcasing not only how fast on his feet Jimmy is with making stuff up, but how good he is at selling these twisted tales. Also, who doesn’t love seeing Jimmy sing “If You Like Pina Coladas” in the most out of tone voice ever?
Kim, however, may be the most interesting people to watch develop as this series goes on. Her relationship with Jimmy has always been a bit questionable at times as she is the moral fixture for his deeds. She is the one who always keeps his head on straight or tires to, yet there was something so devilishly delightful in seeing her back Jimmy’s lie up. Sure, we’ve seen the duo con others out of free drinks or money, but never to this degree. By her giving Jimmy advice on how to cover his actions up from Chuck finding out, we can truly see the unwavering commitment she has to him. Hell, I would have never thought that Kim of all people would be giving Jimmy some hints on how to cover his tracks. Yet it worked perfectly for the character as she was just cryptic enough to give Jimmy the hints needed to cover up his work. This only helped showcase the masterful writing that goes into Better Call Saul, as these massive character moments feel subtle and truly organic.
Sadly, though, Mike’s arc still feels completely out of place. It’s not that his story isn’t enjoyable or that Jonathan Banks doesn’t still bring his A game; just that the disconnect is so obvious at this point. I mean him robbing the cartel just to make a point to Hector, seemed like something out of Breaking Bad. While the two shows share the same world, the rest of the narrative arcs are not as forthcoming with the criminal actions. Mike is anything but subtle and sadly this hinders the actual flow of the show. It doesn’t help that Mike and Jimmy basically never speak or interact with each other anymore. I would like to see more of Nacho (Michael Mando) as he still has more room to grow I feel.
All in all, “Nailed” was another great character driven episode in Better Call Saul. With fantastic performances by both Rhea Seehorn and Michael McKean, this may have some of my favorite moments in the entire season. I just wish that the show would include Mike more often into the lives of Jimmy and the rest of the cast, as he just feels like an entirely different show at this point. Hopefully, we will get to see more of the duo on screen together at the same time in these last few episodes.
- Characters: While everyone had a great showing this week, Chuck was by far the best of them all. His mental state and pure distaste for Jimmy’s actions drove the character to the forefront of the show.
- Cinematography: The frantic nature of the editing during Chuck’s breakdown really helped highlight the fragile, broken nature of his psyche at times.
- Story: With the exception once again for Mike, the story still remains intriguing and complex. If only Mike’s didn’t feel like it was coming from a different show with a very different tone.
- Acting: McKean dominated this week with his best showing by far in Better Call Saul.
- Chuck's Breakdown
- McKean/Seehorn's performances
- Kim Helping Jimmy
- Courtroom Scene
- Mike Still Feels Disconnected
A recent graduate of Arcadia University, Collin MacGregor is a freelance video editor and writer. He covers video games, television, and film for The Nerd Stash. Collin currently is the head film/television reviewer for the site.